Thailand Blasted by 2011 Human Trafficking Report

by Thailand Lawyer on July 4, 2011

By Kimberly Wied

The US State Department recently released its annual trafficking in persons report, endorsed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Thailand was mentioned, as in previous reports, as a country in which the practice of human trafficking for sex work and forced labor has become an intrinsic part of Thai business, and the authorities, for all their admirable efforts, are just not able to truly combat the scale of the issue. In the report, Thailand is described as a “source, destination and transit country for men, women and children who are subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking.”

The report goes on to state that although Thai authorities and the Thai government spend a lot of effort speaking about plans to combat the problem, too little progress is actually being made on the front lines. The report suggests that the slow, labyrinthine legal system and corrupt Thai police force are main factors in the continued operations of a massive network of human traffickers within the country. From Thailand’s seafood and fishing industry to the factories filled with workers making garments, many Thai industries dependant on some form of manual labor pull from a steady supply of trafficked persons to fill their needs.

Thailand has made great strides in fighting human trafficking and has passed a comprehensive anti-trafficking law in 2007. Nevertheless, according to the US State Department Report, few cases have actually been brought before prosecutors and even fewer cases have reached the courts in Thailand. Thailand currently hosts a multitude of NGOs and other organizations maintaining offices within Thailand, particularly in Bangkok, that provide a wide range of services for victims and advocacy support for the end of human trafficking.

The US State Department Report needs to be examined in perspective, however. In the USA, Thai trafficking victims have recently been rescued from a major criminal trafficking organization in Hawaii. Meanwhile millions of undocumented Mexican workers labor in the US in a vast underground employment industry. Who is watching the watchers?

Related Documents:

Human Trafficking in Thailand

Cultural, Economic and Legal Factors Underlying Trafficking in Thailand

T-VISA for Victims of Human Trafficking

Sex Laws in Thailand Part 3: Civil Society and Law Enforcement

New Legal Action Against Hawaii Pineapple Farms for Trafficking Thai Workers

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